Park Vista 21, Palm Beach Central 14: Cobras hold off Broncos' rally
Thursday, October 06, 2011
by Matt Porter
Unbeaten No. 6 Park Vista needed every second on the clock to pull out a 21-14 win over Palm Beach Central on Thursday night.
After Palm Beach Central (3-3, 0-1 District 10-8A) cut a two-touchdown advantage in half with nine minutes remaining, Park Vista (5-0, 1-0) strung together an 18-play drive that covered 77 yards, but stalled inside the 5, and killed all but 35.6 seconds of the clock.
Then the drama really began.
The Broncos, who tried to strip the ball on every play and almost recovered a fumble, stopped Park Vista junior Nelyja Floyd for no gain on fourth-and-1 from the Broncos' 3.
Rather than attempt a chip-shot field goal, Park Vista coach Brian Dodds had elected to go for it on fourth down. Palm Beach Central had no timeouts left, and Dodds had plenty of trust in his defense, which allowed 201 yards of total offense and had sacked Broncos senior quarterback Brock Bukowski (7-of-18, 96 yards, two TDs) three times.
"If they'd had timeouts left, no doubt," Dodds said of a field-goal attempt. "But to go the distance I felt like we had a chance to hold them. Our defense had played well all night."
The Cobras, who came into the game having allowed less than a touchdown per game, didn't break. Bukowski scrambled for a 12-yard gain and was hit late out of bounds for a 15-yard penalty, but that was all for the Broncos.
In winning their district opener, the Cobras gained 243 yards on the ground, led by sophomore quarterback Qwad Martin (18 carries, 77 yards, TD).
Late the third quarter, Palm Beach Central gave the visitors a vital second chance, committing a roughing-the-kicker penalty on fourth-and-1 from Park Vista's 35. Four plays later, Cobras senior Adrian Cerrato scampered 26 yards for a score that made it 21-7.
"We're going to get over the hump," Palm Beach Central coach Rod Harris said. "We were disappointed with the outcome, but we'll be back."
Returning after a five-game suspension, incurred during the Broncos' exhibition kickoff classic against West Boca Raton, Palm Beach Central junior Lloyd Howard caught five passes for 78 yards and a pair of over-the-shoulder touchdown grabs, including a 28-yarder in the fourth to pull the Broncos within seven points.
On a drive midway through the second, Howard caught a 13-yarder that gave the Broncos the early lead.
They didn't hold the advantage for long, though. Cobras senior Shane Bussey hit senior Steven Jerome for a 54-yard TD with 2:37 left in the second quarter. Martin added a 20-yard score after the Broncos lost a fumble with 43.5 seconds left in the half.